31 October 2008

Lost in translation

Menu posted in window of restaurant in China with poor English translations
On our trip to China this past June we enjoyed friendly tour guides, pushy salespeople, and beautiful sights (even if seen through a perpetual haze). We also enjoyed the results of attempting to translate Chinese characters into understandable English. English words we got; understandable English,  not so much.

If I ever start up a band, "Barbecue Speculation" will be its name. Too bad most French Horn players don't start bands.

(credit goes to my alert wife for snapping a shot of this in a restaurant window as we hurried down the street)

30 October 2008

Toonces, have you been shopping again?

From a recent recall notice for pet food: "Mars Petcare US today announced a voluntary recall of a limited number of bags of SPECIAL KITTY® Gourmet Blend dry cat food sold at Wal-Mart locations in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and West Virginia. The pet food is being voluntarily recalled following a positive test result indicating a potential contamination with Salmonella. This product should not be sold or fed to pets."

As my wife said, "I should say it shouldn't be sold to pets! What gives them the chutzpah to think they can pay for anything they want, anyway? Those cats, always trying to act so intelligent."


Sometimes it's because we're sleepy, sometimes we're too stressed, and sometimes we just don't know any better. The result? The butchering, often to comical effect, of the English language. Whether it's from a menu written on a chalkboard or a mass email sent at work, the English language doesn't seem to garner the respect it once did. 

Rather than forming a crusade to teach good English, I figured I'd simply try to compile some of those glaring mistakes/errors/gross abuses of the language and post them here. Enjoy!